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Nancy Pelosi attended post-trauma counseling after the Capitol riot and is urging lawmakers to do the same

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a group of people sitting in a chair: Rep. Jason Crow, comforts Rep. Susan Wild while taking cover as protesters disrupt the joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote in Washington DC, on January 6, 2021. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images


© Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Rep. Jason Crow, comforts Rep. Susan Wild while taking cover as protesters disrupt the joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote in Washington DC, on January 6, 2021. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

  • Nancy Pelosi has been arranging counseling sessions for lawmakers after the Capitol riots.
  • The House Speaker, who has been to a session herself, said the riots have left many traumatized.
  • Pelosi has pushed lawmakers to attend therapy and even asked them to write reflective essays.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been arranging post-traumatic counseling sessions and is urging lawmakers to attend them after the violent Capitol riots left many deeply scarred.

In an interview published by the Washington Post on Saturday, Pelosi said that the violent events on January 6 had many lawmakers, aides, and staff members seriously fearing for their life.

Pelosi herself was ushered to safety in an off-site location on January 6 while her office was being ransacked by a mob of Trump supporters who left threatening letters on her desk and even stole her aide’s laptop, which has not yet been recovered. 

On Saturday, two women who said they stormed the Capitol “looking” for Pelosi “to shoot in her friggin’ brain” were both charged.

Read more: Josh Hawley says he is not running for president in 2024

Since January 6, Pelosi’s office has been quick to get lawmakers and aides to access post-traumatic counseling, mostly conducted online.

Video: ‘We feel like we have to try’: White House reaching out to GOP despite past obstruction (NBC News)

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The sessions, which are being run by the Office of the Attending Physician and Office of Employee Assistance, started less than a week after the riots.

The House Speaker told the Post she had joined the sessions herself: “I sat through it myself. It was interesting,” she said.

“I was thinking, the human person is built for survival,” she continued. “But how do we come back? Not to ignore the seriousness of the situation, but to recognize that to heal, you have to have some justice. You just really have to have justice. You cannot heal without it.”

Photos of the day, which resulted in five people’s deaths, showed lawmakers inside the House chamber wearing gas masks and crawling on the floor as an angry mob of Trump supporters stormed and ransacked the Capitol. 

In other parts of the building, Congress members were locking themselves in offices and conference rooms, blocking doors with furniture, and hiding under tables. 

“The trauma that I saw in their eyes, it was just overwhelming, just overwhelming,” Pelosi said, according to the Post. “You know, our staffs are largely young. They come here with the sense of idealism and just love that they’re working in the Capitol.”

The House Speaker has personally been sending around emails to remind lawmakers and staff to take advantage of the counseling, even asking them to write an essay about their experience that day as a means to process what they went through, The Post reported.

“Be your own historian, be part of writing the history of this, because there’s nobody who can be a better validator of what happened in your experience than you,” Pelosi said.

More than 200 people have been charged in the riots so far. Here is a running list of them.

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